Learner houses dozens of freely available videos, courses, and educational
resources. The educational arm of the Annenberg Foundation partner with
Colorado State University to provide tuition-based graduate credit and/or
continuing education credits for teachers. There are over 110 courses
available, with content spanning all the major disciplines at all the grade levels.
- Primary Use: Learn
- Primary Users: Teachers
- Cost: All content can be used for free. Credit can be earned for taking some courses: Two credit courses are $196 and three credit courses are $294. Both have an additional $20 tech fee for taking the course online. Tuition for Continued Education Unit courses is currently $50 per CEU or $75 for 1.5 units, $125 for 2.5 units and $150 for 3 units.
- Skill Development: Content Knowledge, Pedagogy
- On-Brand Use: Teachers can purchase online courses for graduate or CEU credit, or access a variety of materials including courses, webinars, and lesson plans for free.
- Platforms: The content is web-based and is not optimized for mobile or tablets
- Deal breakers: Most of the content is not updated regularly and therefore is a little outdated.
- Types of Schools Using It: Mostly accessed by individual teachers, but schools can purchase DVDs of any of their videos or courses
Annenberg Learner provides free resources to teachers. There are dozens of free lesson plans, videos, and courses, all addressing specific content knowledge. The resources on the site are all designed to be practical and useful in the classroom. The partnership between Annenberg Learner and Colorado State University allows teachers to get graduate credits or Continued Education Unit’s for participating in a course.
How does it work?
Annenberg Learner provides content and resources for teachers’ professional development. The content is related to specific subject material and classroom instruction. The majority of the courses and videos teach specific content like arts integration, economics, or geography. A small number are more methodological courses, such as “Looking at Learning” or “Principles for Principals.”
Teachers can access Annenberg Learner’s 110 courses through online course catalog. Each course has a page that shows a timeline, outline, standards being met, course units or workshops, and interactive materials. Units or workshops can consist of videos, text, facilitator guides, and opportunities for additional learning. All materials can be accessed for free, but graduate credits and CEU’s are only available for a fee.
Most courses are meant to be taken individually and self-guided, or with a group of teachers and a facilitator in a school or district. However, some of the courses are interactive and guided by an instructor. Those workshops must be accessed at specific times and tend to have additional costs. All credit-based courses require participants to submit some coursework throughout the 30-45 hours of course time.
There are dozens of videos on the Annenberg Learner’s video series that provide instruction on specific content. These can be used in the classroom or as supplemental PD. For example, a video series about American Cinema contains 10 one-hour and 3 half-hour video programs, and additional coordinated books. These can be purchased and used in the classroom with students, or watched online to educate teachers on a specific subject like cinema.
Lesson plans are available for subjects including:
- Foreign Language
- Literature & Language Arts
- Social Studies and History
Most of these subjects have K-University level lesson plans available that are aligned with an Annenberg Learning Video. For example, the “Creating a Multi-Arts Performance Piece” lesson plan provides a 60-minute video with suggested activities for both before and after the video. Additionally, the lesson plan provides opportunities for further discussion, homework, ongoing activities, and extended workshops.
recently, the online resources include short videos of students
engaging in Common Core lesson. Videos are one to five minutes long. They
aim to give teachers good examples of how to engage students in lessons aligned
to Common Core. Videos are linked to specific
Common Core standards. For Math, they have over 20 videos demonstrating how
students do things like ‘Modeling’, ‘Problem Solving’, ‘Reasoning’, and
‘Attending to Precision.’ For ELA, they have 20 videos of writers doing in
depth analysis of different pieces of literature. For Science, they have over 46 videos of
lessons demonstrating different Science content standards.
How is it used?
can use the content on the Annenberg Learner site in a variety of ways. The
courses can be taken for free or for graduate/PD credit, and the free resources
can be accessed as supplemental PD or a lesson plan for the classroom. A
teacher can browse the site for materials without logging in. .
Teachers can also browse the list of courses, view each course individually,
and purchase a course for credit on the site.
The courses range in time commitment depending on whether they are 2 or 3 credits. Each graduate level credit is equal to 15 hours of class time with additional homework time. Participants are required to complete the course within 6 months, but can finish any time before that point.
The other materials that Annenberg offers for free, including lesson plans and video series, are designed specifically for use in the classroom. Teachers can download all materials necessary to teach the course including outlined plans, worksheets, additional readings, and relevant videos. Teachers can use these to learn how to teach the specific content in their classroom, or can have students watch the videos and use the plans to teach the content in the videos.
Who’s Using It?:
Annenberg Learner is mainly used as a resource for individual teachers, although schools can purchase materials to be used in the classroom.
Content, Content, Content….
Although the site funds the development of these materials, they are not created “in house.” Annenberg Learner employees identify needs in professional develop through interviews with education professionals and reading relevant research, and put out request for proposals to create courses for their site.
example, Annenberg Learner would reach out specifically to WGBH in Boston to
submit a proposal for a course on teaching reading. Once a proposal is
approved, WGBH would design the curriculum, look for teachers across the
country that could demonstrate best practices, and produce the course.
Annenberg funds the project and oversees the development.
There are currently 110 courses available. New ones are developed infrequently (about one a year). These courses span all grade levels and are categorized into the following subjects:
- Education Theory and Issues
- History and Social Studies
- Literature and Language Arts
Some courses are aligned with State Standards or Common Core, and provide that information on the course page. Each course consists of videos, readings, and a variety of coursework including quizzes, handouts, or final projects that must be submitted by the end of the 6 months.
of the courses, videos, and lesson plans have not been updated in a few years.
Some materials, including videos from the classroom, can seem slightly
Annenberg Learner courses and content are available on their website, which is not optimized for mobile viewing. Therefore, it is best when viewed on a desktop or laptop.
All content can be accessed for free. Two credits courses are $196 and three credit courses are $294. Both have an additional $20 tech fee for taking the course online. Tuition for CEU courses is currently $50 per CEU or $75 for 1.5 units, $125 for 2.5 units and $150 for 3 units.
Teachers can purchase courses from the Annenberg Learner site to receive graduate credits (2 or 3) and/or continuing education units.
Learner provides all of their content and resources for free for teachers,
which makes it unique. However, courses are limited and some are dated, which
give competitors like SimpleK12, PBS Teacherline, and ASCD,
who also provide for credit courses, an advantage.
Are you a teacher or administrator who has used this product? Be the first to share your experiences with others by writing a Case Study: